Perhaps no MLB team will see its Opening Day roster change more as a result of the COVID-19 shutdown than the New York Yankees. New York was scheduled to open the season without Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, James Paxton, and Giancarlo Stanton, all of whom were injured in late March. .
In an appearance on MLB Network Radio earlier this week, Yankees manager Aaron Boone provided an update on Judge, who is recovering from a fractured top right rib. Boone said Judge is continuing to heal and due for another CT scan to check on his progress in the coming weeks.
"This time down has allowed that rib, that bone to hopefully continue to heal," Boone said. "All signs are encouraging there. Hopefully, this time down allows that rib to heal properly and hopefully have him part of all this as well."
Clearly, Judge would not be ready to participate in spring training if it were to begin today. He did not play in Grapefruit League games back in February and March because of the broken rib -- Judge initially complained of shoulder and pectoral discomfort -- and eventually had to be shut down. It is believed he suffered the injury on this diving play last September:
, and that he received injections to manage the pain and be able to play in the postseason. He said he had no discomfort during is early offseason workouts. It wasn't until January, when he arrived at the team's spring training complex and ramped up his workouts, that the pain returned.
Should Judge miss time when baseball returns, the Yankees could turn to 2019 breakout player Mike Tauchman or former top prospect Clint Frazier to fill in for Judge. Former Rookie of the Year runner-up Miguel Andujar saw time in the outfield in spring training and could be another option. There's no replacing Judge, but the Yankees do have good outfield depth.
Injuries have limited Judge the last two seasons. He suffered a broken wrist on a hit-by-pitch in 2018 and played only 112 games. Last year an oblique strain limited him to 102 games. Despite that, the 28-year-old Judge has hit 110 home runs in parts of four MLB seasons and is a career .273/.394/.558 hitter with 19.1 WAR in 396 games.
As for the other injured Yankees, Boone said Giancarlo Stanton (calf) is healed and ready to go, Hicks (Tommy John surgery) has recently started swinging a bat, and Paxton (back surgery) is facing hitters in simulated games. Paxton and Stanton figure to be full participants when spring training resumes, possibly Hicks as well.